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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Class Is agree to join FRA's close-call system; CSX highlights record safety performance

Since CSX began transforming its operating model in 2017, the company has achieved new levels of safety and operating performance.
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All seven Class Is have agreed to join the Federal Railroad Administration's voluntary Confidential Close-Call Reporting System (C3RS), according to the Association of American Railroads.

The railroads said they'd enroll in the system after U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg last week called on them to do so in the aftermath of the Feb. 3 Norfolk Southern Railway train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.

"The industry absolutely shares your commitment to establishing effective mechanisms to help prevent future accidents like the derailment in East Palestine," AAR President and CEO Ian Jefferies said in a March 2 letter to Buttigieg.

All Class Is have programs in place that allow employees to provide confidential information on safety concerns, Jefferies said.

"These programs range from establishing and using anonymous reporting hotlines to processes that incorporate peer review teams and root cause analysis, much like C3RS," Jefferies wrote.

The railroads will continue their own internal programs while also participating in the FRA's C3RS, he said.

Meanwhile, CSX yesterday highlighted that it has achieved record safety performance in recent years through investments in infrastructure and technology, fluid network operations and a safety culture that emphasizes employee training and coaching.

Since CSX began transforming its operating model in 2017, the company has achieved new levels of safety and operating performance. It is the leader among Class I railroads with the fewest train accidents and the lowest average rate of FRA injuries since 2019, company officials said in a press release.

"CSX understands that safety is the foundation of our business, which depends upon our ability to work collaboratively as a ONE CSX team to deliver customers’ freight safely, reliably and sustainably,” said President and CEO Joe Hinrichs. “Everything we do at our company is centered around our recognition that the safety of our employees and the communities where we operate is paramount.”

A list of CSX's efforts to improve safety can be found here. Also, subscribe to RailPrime to read this interview with CSX Vice President and Chief Safety Officer Jim Schwichtenberg on how the company has enhanced safety for railway workers.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/8/2023